South Carolina’s Spartanburg Regional Medical Center is battling a flu outbreak that’s clogged emergency rooms throughout the state with equipment from BLU-MED Response Systems®.
“We are like all of the hospitals in (this region), full to all of our adult capacity,” Spartanburg Regional Chief Medical Officer Chris Lombardozzi told FOX Carolina. “It has been a really tough year for us and the (region) in particular has been really crushed by flu and flu-like illnesses.”
Spartanburg Regional set up a BLU-MED Deployable Field Hospital outside of its emergency room. The BLU-MED facility was installed and fully operational in six hours and can treat up to 20 patients if the ER experiences overflow conditions.
“Our emergency room has been holding patients that need beds, that's not a situation that we like to have” Lombardozzi said. “At the same time that backs up the flow for patients that don't necessarily need a bed, but still need to be seen and by opening up this unit that provides the space for us to see those types of patients."
Lombardozzi said Spartanburg Regional purchased its BLU-MED after Hurricane Katrina when ER workers saw the importance of being able to treat patients at the scene of a disaster.
There have been thousands of confirmed cases of influenza in South Carolina and the flu remains widespread across the U.S., according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Senior citizens and young children have been hit especially hard. Almost 60 percent of flu hospitalizations have been for Americans 65 and older, and children up to 4 years old have the second highest hospitalization, the CDC said.
To lessen your chances of contracting influenza, the CDC recommends getting a seasonal flu vaccination. If you have questions about this year’s flu season, check out these frequently asked questions (FAQ) posted on the CDC website.